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Researching fatphobia, one of the up-and-coming subfields of feminist studies, Emma Lind uncovered an avalanche of material about the oppression and social shaming of people who are fat.
Lind, an Okanagan College instructor, is one of the experts sharing their research and knowledge by bringing provocative and challenging topics to a new series at the College. Her research spans topics such as body image, weight stigma in pregnancy care and queer women’s identities and she has worked on digital story telling projects with ReˑVision, The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph.
Fat is Not a Four-Letter Word, the course that Lind will lead, is part of the Fascinating Intellectual Topics series that begins this fall at Okanagan College. The series is comprised of two-day sessions that cover a range of subjects sharing a central theme of global citizenship.
“This area of fatphobia has had significant academic interest recently,” says Lind. “It’s something that people have rarely been given the opportunity to name. Learners will engage with provocative ideas and come away with a deeper understanding of how body image is embedded into the broader systems of power. The session will disrupt common assumptions about fat bodies and offer permission to question the messages everyone receives about their bodies.”
Lind’s course will take place Sept. 24 – Oct 1 on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Topics covered in the FIT series range from timely local concerns such as homelessness and urbanization in the Kelowna area to broader discussions on the impacts of climate change and diversity and inclusion. The 11 courses in the series were developed by professors and community experts, who partnered with the College with the goal of creating healthy dialogue and making a difference in the community.
“We want to bring important conversations to our community in a way that offers new perspectives to interested learners,” explains Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies at Okanagan College. “While society seems to be experiencing a hardening of perspectives, we want to create space for individuals to learn more about timely topics and share their views.”
“Learning is a healthy activity,” says Silvestrone. “The FIT series brings together a community of learners. Not only will we be learning, but the information shared can also contribute to tolerance and developing a more civil society.”
To see the full lineup of course offerings, dates and times, and to register, visit okanagan.bc.ca/fit.